Below are some general guidelines for students interested in Independent Study/Research Courses.

  • Independent study is the acquisition of skills, knowledge, or information that is known among professionals. For example, learning lab skills or preparing for a certification exam. Independent research is comprised of work aimed at generating novel techniques, knowledge, or synthesis of information.
  • MS students may enroll in independent study/research during their first and second years (up to 12.0 units available).
  • First year MBS students can choose an independent study/research as elective for the spring, if their fall GPA is above 3.25.
  • Independent study for 1.5 units requires approximately 9 hours of study per week per module or 4.5 hours per week per semester for a total of 72 hours. Independent study for 3.0 units requires approximately 9 hours of study per week per semester for a total of 144 hours.
  • To select a research or study project, students should contact individual faculty members faculty directory. Students enrolled in the MS in Applied Life Sciences program may contact MS program director, Dr. Levitin, for guidance on available projects.
  • Project descriptions are sometimes kept general, as specifics will be refined with the interested students later.
  • Providing a write-up does not obligate a faculty member to accept a student if, for example, staffing or priorities change, or if no suitable student shows interest.
  • There may be more interested students than available spots. It is up to the faculty advisors for each project to decide which student is accepted. If you are interested in a project on the list, please formally apply for the position by sending an email to the listed contact person for the project. Top applicants for a position will likely go through a quick interview.
  • In most cases you will have the opportunity to tailor the specifics of the project to your skills and interests. Discuss this with the advising faculty.
  • Once agreement is reached between student and faculty advisor on an independent study / research project, you need to fill out the independent study / research contract available through the registrar’s office, and submit this form prior to the registration deadline.
  • Independent research students will often work closely with research staff, postdocs or PhD students. However, the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the student is properly guided in the project, and for providing a final grade, lies with the faculty member.
  • Please note that the ADD and DROP deadlines follow the regular semester deadlines, but interested faculty and students may need more time to design and develop independent study/research plans.
  • Students must indicate on the independent study contract if the course will count toward a concentration.
  • No more than 3.0 units of IS/IR will count toward graduation for the MBS degree.

Please use complete the  Independent Study/Research Contract and turn into the Registrar’s Office for approval.